Resist waste and gluttony

Uphold true essence of Ramadan by practising moderation

MANY Muslims embrace the fasting month to find solace in God.

During this time, they take the opportunity to accrue merits by helping others like sharing food with neighbours and the needy..

But wherever good dwells, evil will lurk also.

Ramadan is a time for Muslims to be extra mindful of wrongdoings but sadly, I have seen gluttony surfacing frequently.

After two years of the pandemic, we welcomed back lavish buffet offerings for iftar and sahur with a vengeance.

This avalanche of food was captured on social media in mouthwatering style, tempting all and sundry with many gastronomic ideas for breaking fast.

At many buka puasa events in Penang, many (including me, I confess) pounced on buffet spreads like there was no tomorrow.

We piled several plates of food on our table and waited eagerly for the call to prayer to break our fast.

Then as soon as the call to prayer was sounded and without even performing the proper prayer sometimes, some of my friends and I started eating.

I also observed at Penang’s Ramadan bazaars, many people had loads of packets filled with food without checking on the impulse to buy more and more.

It makes me fear that some of us may have forgotten the true essence of Ramadan.

We should avoid food wastage, not just during Ramadan but at other times of the year also.

We should abstain from binge-eating and the unhindered pursuit of the pleasures our taste buds bring.

Though we know that those who are wasteful can be called a friend of the devil, we keep being gluttonous because we cannot resist the temptation of good food.

I expect an increase of between 15% and 20% in food waste disposed of during festive periods including Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

There are many verses in the Quran and numerous hadith on eating and matters associated with it.

Food is seen as not only fulfilling one’s physical need or hunger but also as something that benefits our mental and emotional well-being.

Food is something that connects humans to Allah through dependency, gratitude and responsibility.

Now, as Ramadan draws to a close, it can be a good time to reflect on how well we observe the fasting month.

This habit of wasting food may spoil our prospects of gaining Allah’s blessings and pahala (rewards).

On the world front, soya bean oil prices are now at record high because of the disruption in getting sunflower oil from Ukraine, the top producer of sunflower oil in the world. We all know what is happening in Ukraine now.

So without Ukraine’s output, the prices of all other oils are soaring.

Indonesia has ceased all exports of its palm oil to conserve it for its own citizens.

The prices of many grains and cereals are also approaching record highs.

The wallets of Malaysians are shielded from some of the impacts because we enjoy government subsidies for many imported commodities but that only means our national reserves are taking a hammering.

We must uphold the essence of Ramadan by practising moderation when buying, preparing and eating food.

Let us not waste any more food. Let’s plan our meals before we buy and learn to resist the devil’s temptations.

Have a blessed Ramadan and a wonderful Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

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Pinang Points , Penang


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